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You Ask, We Answer: What is the Importance of Vitamin D?

  By posted Nov 7th 2013
Healthy Living


You Ask, We Answer: The importance of Vitamin D Guide

Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone that our body makes. Worldwide an estimated 1 billion people have low levels of vitamin D in their blood, and this deficiency can be found in all ethnicities and age group. We explain the importance of Vitamin D.


Research conducted over the past decade concludes that vitamin D plays a much wider disease-fighting role than once thought. Being deficient of vitamin D can make you a host of various chronic disease and infections. Registered Dietitian and health blogger, Akansha Jhalani, explains the importance of Vitamin D.



What is vitamin D?


Vitamin D belongs to a group of fat-soluble vitamins the absorption that enhance of calcium and phosphate in the body. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. The body can also synthesise vitamin D in the skin, from cholesterol, with adequate sun exposure. So, it is often referred to as  ‘the sunshine vitamin’.


Recommend daily allowance


The Indian Dietetic Association, in accordance with the 2010 revised data, recommends 400 IU(10 µg) per day with adequate sun exposure. 


Benefits of vitamin D


1. Disease prevention


Adequate vitamin D in the body prevents diseases like cancer, rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, tuberculosis, influenza, obesity, hair loss and depression.


2. Vitamin D against flu


Vitamin D improves the immune function and provides a protective shield against cold, flu and pneumonia


3. Vitamin D for expecting mothers



Vitamin D is important in making healthy babies with good immune functions. It also prevents risk of premature births.


4. Optimum vitamin D intake reduces the risk of injuries die to falls, fractures, high blood pressure and type 1 diabetes.


5. Vitamin D also speeds up wound healing


Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency


The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include depression, backache, obesity, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, gum disease, premenstrual syndrome, asthma, bronchitis, hypertension and diabetes


Sources of vitamin D


Mostly all the sources of vitamin D are of animal-source, so food fortifications are preferred. Foods like milk and milk products, breakfast cereals and breakfast bars are generally fortified.


 The sources of vitamin D are-


Fatty fishes like tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon are rich sources of vitamin D. One exchange of fish (100gms) provides up to 80% of the recommend daily intake.

Vitamin D is also present in moderate amounts in egg yolk, beef liver and Swiss cheese.


*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images


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